Teen faces manslaughter charge in death from synthetic drug - KCTV5

Teen faces manslaughter charge in death from synthetic drug

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Platte County prosecutors charged 17-year-old Krista Meeks on Wednesday. She is also charged with distribution of an imitation drug. Platte County prosecutors charged 17-year-old Krista Meeks on Wednesday. She is also charged with distribution of an imitation drug.
Another teen, Jamell Montgomery, who connected the boys to Meeks, was charged with distribution of an imitation drug. Another teen, Jamell Montgomery, who connected the boys to Meeks, was charged with distribution of an imitation drug.
Ethan Rickman, 15, died after taking the drugs that turned out to be bad. Ethan Rickman, 15, died after taking the drugs that turned out to be bad.
PLATTE COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -

Involuntary manslaughter charges have now been filed against a Platte County teen accused of giving another teen synthetic drugs.

Ethan Rickman, 15, died after taking the drugs that turned out to be bad.

Platte County prosecutors charged 17-year-old Krista Meeks on Wednesday. She is also charged with the distribution of an imitation drug.

Initially Meeks, who allegedly sold the imitation drugs to the young boys, was charged with distribution, but now Platte County prosecutors went a step further and charged her with the death of one of the boys.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd charged Meeks with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Ethan. He died after he and another 14-year-old friend ingested a synthetic drug known as "acid" or "CID". It mimics the effects of LSD.

"This is an incredibly tragic case. We allege that a 17-year-old sold what she knew to be a very dangerous synthetic drug to a 15-year-old resulting in his death," Zahnd said.

She told detectives she wouldn't even try it, because she knew people could die from it.

Prosecutors say in October 2013 the two teens went to 18-year-old Jamell Montgomery to find "acid". Montgomery connected them to Meeks. Montgomery was also charged with distributing imitation drugs.

The teens went to an address on Northwest Fisk Avenue in Parkville, MO, and ingested the imitation drug. Ethan died and the 14-year-old survived.

Sheriff Mark Owen said most of the synthetic drugs are homemade, often from the Internet with unknown ingredients.

"You've got...some of it's rat poison, bleach, you just don't know what's in those drugs," Owen said.

None of the compounds in the synthetic drug were illegal drugs, but the chemicals mixed together formed a deadly combination.

"These synthetic drugs are changing, not just monthly but weekly. Education alone is not the answer," said Prevention Manager Vicky Ward.

Officials are urging parents to talk to teens about the dangers of the new-found fake drug. The effects may give teens a hallucinogenic high, but the toxins destroy the body.

"These synthetic drugs cause convulsions, seizures, foaming at the mouth, heads banging into sidewalks. Some of the drugs we've seen at the hospital, you see the skin eaten inside out," Owen said.

Meeks allegedly got her imitation drugs from a manufacturer in Kansas City, KS. When drug officers searched the house near Verde Street, they seized 1,800 units of the synthetic drug that killed Ethan.

If convicted, Meeks faces up to seven years in prison. Montgomery faces four years.

This is the first time Platte County prosecutors have been able to charge someone in the death of another who was sold synthetic drugs. It's difficult to prosecute they say because the components of the drugs are not illegal, and when a component is listed as illegal, the drug makers use other ingredients.

Law enforcement officers are urging legislators to list more components as illegal.

Click here to learn more about recognizing the synthetic drugs.

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